Seated Twists (Marichyasana C)

Today I want to show you some of the biggest form mistakes and problems I see when people practice simple seated twists. I LOVE twists because they help digestion issues, are key in strengthening muscles needed for posture, and can be very relaxing for your back. 

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In the before photo above there are some major issues here that could cause pain, discomfort and hurt your yoga practice:


  1. My legs are a HOT mess. Here’s why: my bottom leg is not engaged at all, (therefore it is doing absolutely nothing for me) you have to make sure your thigh is engaged, knee points up and foot is flexed. My crossed leg foot is too close to my body and isn’t in line with my sit bone. Before I can even think about twisting I need to have my crossed leg in a comfortable aligned position. I took it a few inches away from my sitbone to fix it in the after photo. 
  2. In the before photo I’m not creating length to the twist but cramping my body. My lower back is rounded, my shoulders are up by my ears and my back arm is too close to my body. The biggest component to the twist is creating length!! First step is to move my straight arm hand further from my body so I can create length, then I went to lift up through my spine and then press away from my knee with my bent arm elbow and relax my shoulders down. Think inhale lengthen exhale press and twist! 
  3. Have you ever wondered where your neck and head go in a twist?! The key is to let your neck and head follow the twist (not lead the twist or hold it back). Let the neck and head actively follow your spine and keep a long neck!

Modifications: Instead of pressing away with your elbow, press away with your bent arms hand and/or place your straight arm’s hand up against a wall for more leverage when lifting up through your spine Was this helpful? Make sure to save this tip to your collection and tag a friend who would find this helpful!